Tuesday, 8 December 2009

10 billion Copenhagen Launch Fund not enough, says Beck

A 10 billion dollar funding initiative proposed by the British Government to help poor countries adapt to the impact of climate change is not enough, says Solomon Islands Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Colin Beck. The so-called Copenhagen Launch Fund was announced by Prime Minister Gordon Brown at the summit of Commonwealth Leaders last week in Trinidad & Tobago. Britain is to provide 800 million pounds (US$1.3 billion dollars) while the rest will come from ‘rich countries.’

It’s not clear who the ‘rich countries’ are, but they are expected to top up Britain’s offer, which only lasts until 2012.
While Ambassador Beck welcomed the proposed financing mechanism, he’s skeptical that ‘rich countries’ will not live up to their funding commitments.

“While we welcome these funds, we want to ensure that this is matched with long term emission reductions. 
“We must learn from past practice in which pledges were made and not lived up to," said Ambassador Beck.
UNFCC Executive Secretary, Yves de Boer is equally skeptical, and impressed on climate change negotiators in Copenhagen this week to ensure that countries live up their pledges.

“They must ensure that they come up with a list of pledges from individual countries. They must also set up a tracking mechanism to ensure that countries are meeting their commitments."

One example is the delay by donor countries to pay up to the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) to address the special needs of 49 countries, which includes six Pacific Island nations. The fund is managed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

“If you look at National Adaptation Plans of Action (NAPAs) of least developed countries, only five of the 49 have had their NAPA’s funded. This is basically because there is not enough money. It was just about 200 million."

So far the GEF has mobilized voluntary contributions of about $172 million for the LDCF. It's target in the next four years is to reach $500 million, which is the amount estimated by the UNFCCC needed to finance NAPA implementation.  To date, 19 donors have pledged to the LDCF: Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom. Ambassador Beck said if the example of the LDC fund is anything to go by, then negotiators in Copenhagen need to make sure that rich countries commit the finances to adapt and mitigate against climate change.

“The 10 billion dollars that has been announced is still insufficient. To us, that amount is inadequate, especially when the United Nations has recently done a report which gave a conservative figure of 86 billion per annum. To put it against 10 billion, I think really this is too small," said Ambassador Beck.

Mr de Boer suggests however that 10 billion is a start up financing package for developing countries. “There seems to be a growing consensus that in terms of prompt start funding, something in the order of 10 billion per year will be needed in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and then off course much more significant financial resources over the longer term for both adaptation and mitigation.

Solomon Islands, a member of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) is pushing that if this new funding mechanism will be negotiated and approved in Copenhagen, ‘then it must be a multilateral mechanism.’ 

“We feel that it must be within a multilateral arrangement. If we leave it to the World Bank or to other institutions, it will make it difficult for us to access these funds," says Beck.

“If there is going to be funding, it must be a multilateral arrangement, easily accessible, sufficient and adequate," the Solomon Islands diplomat said.

The proposed 10 billion dollar financing offer is one of the six key UNFCCC issues – mitigation, adaptation, financing, technology, capacity building and forests- being negotiated in Copenhagen this week

No comments:

Post a Comment